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Last Updated on August 30, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 288

The King

Rudolph V of Ruritania is the king-to-be of the nation of Ruritania. He is awaiting coronation and is engaged to be married, but on the eve of the ceremony to crown him king, he is drugged and kidnapped in an effort to usurp his throne.

Michael

A duke...

(The entire section contains 664 words.)

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The King

Rudolph V of Ruritania is the king-to-be of the nation of Ruritania. He is awaiting coronation and is engaged to be married, but on the eve of the ceremony to crown him king, he is drugged and kidnapped in an effort to usurp his throne.

Michael

A duke and the younger half-brother of the king, Michael is the mastermind behind the plot to overthrow the king. He wants the throne for himself and takes steps to ensure his brother is out of the picture by kidnapping him and locking him away in the distant town of Zenda.

Antoinette de Mauban

Antoinette is the duke's mistress. She knows of the plot to overthrow the king but does not wish it to happen; she stirs a plot of her own to prevent Michael from being crowned king.

Count Rupert of Hentzau

Rupert is a handsome young count and accomplice in the plot to overthrow the king. He is deceptive and cares for no authority; thus, his motives are suspect throughout the story.

Colonels Sapt and Fritz von Tarlenheim

The colonels are loyal supporters of the king. When he goes missing, they do everything in their power to ensure he is returned safe and becomes king. They seek to uncover and foil the plot against Rudolph.

Rudolf Rassendyll

King Rudolph's cousin from England, Rudolf, comes to visit during the events, and his likeness to his cousin is uncanny. He is used as a copy of his cousin to receive the crown and ensure that the coronation can proceed. He falls in love with the king's fiancée.

Princess Flavia

The king's betrothed, Princess Flavia, falls for Rudolf Rassendyll—but the two have to break their affair when the king returns from imprisonment and assumes his throne.

Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 376

Rudolf Rassendyll

Rudolf Rassendyll, a red-bearded young English gentleman of leisure who prides himself on his red hair and large straight nose, which are reminders of an old scandal involving the wife of a Rassendyll ancestor and a visiting Ruritanian prince of the Elphberg family. To save the Ruritanian crown from Black Michael, Rassendyll impersonates Rudolf and is crowned king. He falls in love with Flavia, manages several narrow escapes from Michael and his men, rescues Rudolf, and restores the throne of Ruritania to its rightful king.

Lady Rose Burlesdon

Lady Rose Burlesdon, his sister-in-law, a pretty, accomplished, and wealthy woman.

Rudolf

Rudolf, king of Ruritania, little known to his subjects because of his frequent and extended absences from his country. He looks like an identical twin of Rassendyll except that he has shaved off his beard, his face is a little fleshier, and his mouth less firm. He is a heavy drinker and is both drunk and drugged the day of the coronation. Imprisoned by Michael, he is freed when Michael’s lodge is attacked, and he assumes his position as monarch.

Michael

Michael, duke of Strelsau, King Rudolf’s villainous half brother, called Black Michael, who wishes to be king of Ruritania and will stoop to any deed to achieve his aim. He is killed by the treacherous Rupert.

Antoinette de Mauban

Antoinette de Mauban, a rich, handsome, ambitious widow in love with Michael.

Princess Flavia

Princess Flavia, a pale, lovely, red-haired girl betrothed to Rudolf. Though she loves Rassendyll, she loyally becomes Rudolf’s wife and queen.

Fritz von Tarlenheim

Fritz von Tarlenheim, a loyal subject of Rudolf who helps to carry out Rassendyll’s impersonation and later saves his life.

Colonel Sapt

Colonel Sapt, another loyal subject, who first suggests that Rassendyll shave off his beard and double for Rudolf during the coronation to prevent Michael from seizing the throne.

Josef

Josef, a servant in Michael’s hunting lodge. He is slain while guarding the drunken Rudolf.

Rupert Hentzau

Rupert Hentzau, Michael’s handsome young aide, who kills him in a fight over Antoinette. In a deadly encounter with Rupert later, Rassendyll is saved by Fritz.

Detchard

Detchard, another of Michael’s henchmen. After attacking the king, he is slain by Rassendyll.

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